Motherless Brooklyn (2019) - Crime, Drama, Mystery

Hohum Score



In 1950s New York, a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette's Syndrome ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend.

IMDB: 6.9
Director: Edward Norton
Stars: Edward Norton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Length: 144 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 73 out of 284 found boring (25.7%)

One-line Reviews (212)

The atmosphere of 50's New York and musical score was immensely evocative and comprehensively realised.

The direction is boring.

It's worth seeing, but as I said, "maybe", only because it's a slow burn and could've been accelerated in spots.

Robert Moses/Moses Randolph or whoever wears their snappy shoes would love it.

There is no plot twist or amazing revelation that compensates the two hours plus you sat watching this, the ending is really lame and looked like from a Nicholas Sparks movie.

Thanks to the slow pace, as a viewer you can discover more clues and hints yourself.

A bit lengthy for a crime drama/who done it because there will be slower portions of the film.

While it suffers from a fairly cliche plot template, this film looks great and has a nice style that modernizes the noir genre while maintaining the usual time period.

Overall, Motherless Brooklyn is a boring film that fails to get any better with its long and slow direction.

Creative, Suspenseful .

Slow, political statement piece .

Too long and predictable .

These elements are all excellent and shows that Edward Norton is a capable director who makes something with effort and passion which isn't seen all the time, these aspects feel so engaging in the first act and through many parts of the final act.

It was way too long.

Watching Brooklyn leaves you in a constant state of waiting for things to really take off, waiting for that story development to get things moving into another gear but those moments never come as we are left with uninteresting love interests, far too long in the tooth Jazz Club stop-overs and a convoluted plotline that thinks too highly of itself as it instead flounders about on a long road to nowhere in particular.

The film is long, slow pace, looks old.....

The story was okay and the acting was alright but for the most part it was predictable and a little long.

I thought it was slow and boring.

Very simple and predictable self loving Edward Norton's film.

There are worse ways to waste your time.

Worth Watching .

An Extremely Tedious Passion Project .

Long and boring.

The movie was painfully boring with hardly any story line and 2hours 35 mins long that felt like 4 hours.

If you're into these sort of slow paced, intriguing films, than Motherless Brooklyn is for you.

Great acting, lovely jazz and a slow pace that grows on you.

The only parts that seem complex or boring are the political scenes.

I really enjoyed it.

Slow, boring, and unrealistic .

All in all MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN is an engaging crime drama that is worth every minute of your time

A Calm, Engaging Mystery .

Instead of doing pointless exposition, the film could've given more development to the relationship between Norton's and Willis' character.

I hope you find it entertaining more than me.

He even seems to sabotage his suspenseful moments by being repetitive in situations while his vintage autos convey an artificial look with their with showroom glow still in tact as they tool around Queens and Brooklyn.

The bland nature of the plot does not aid the film's problem solving.

It is an engaging complicated detective story that seems satisfyingly straightforward once it is all unraveled.

The story is decent but not great, and it's very predictable at certain points.

But it's certainly engaging.

So this is what I will say: if you're looking for an engaging film with multifaceted and layered and colored (artistically not racially) Characters that move through a story that is a mystery thriller who done it in a why done it?

In fact I'd argue the music is the film's biggest saving grace, and it's worth watching for that alone.

the wildly talented Ed Norton, who delivered a gritty, suspenseful noir, a well-developed character portrayal, a thoughtful, deliberatively-paced adapted tough topic screen-play.

The slow pace, the jazzy music, that Film Noir ambiance, it's just not for me.

As a photographer I thought the cinematography was stunning in color and composition, less film noir and more '50's style New York street Kodachrome photography with compositions of odd reflections and angles interspersed smoothly with the flow of the narrative master shots in a style similar to Winogrand and Vivian Maier.

Dull, slow, and predictable Noir style investigation.

Authentic Looking Slow Noir .

'Homeless Brooklyn' is highly entertaining, although a mishmash of themes that are loose threads of a sprawling story, albeit well told.

The film feels flabby, slow, unsure of its pacing.

Acting (top notch, without excluding anyone at all), score, delicate thrilling effect, subtle depiction of power's brutality.

I appreciate the noir elements and the call back to NYC during the 50's but it gets boring and confusing after a while and you find yourself wanting a way out of Motherless Brooklyn.

The whole ending to do with Paul and Moses is very confusing and I got lost along the way.

His acting performance is remarkable, but there are plenty of other reasons that make 'Motherless Brooklyn' one of the most exciting films of a season among the best in the last decade.

The investigation feels like a waste of time, especially when a lot of the core questions are answered relatively easily.

boring .

It's actually impressive how well the atmosphere was built despite the bland script.

This movie paralyzes you from the very beginning and, like any great detective story, keeps you on the edge of your seat looking for answers and thinking..

) , the rest of the movie was tedious acting was not believable it most seemed like they were forcing out their play/part.

With no tension, no score, a slow pace, a PG-13 script taking away realism from the characters and their reactions and dialogues, and failed and intermittent attempts of comedy, this is a failure in every sense.

Plodding and thoughtful without ever being boring, and what a performance by Ed Norton as the tourettes afflicted gumshoe.

People who come to the film because they liked the book will be pissed that it's not a better version of it, and those who know nothing of the book have only a dull, boring movie to watch.

Liked the classic noir vibes of the movie.. storyline reminded me of 90's movie productions (it's set in the 50's though) so it was kinda predictable and at some points slow.

I'd recommend it with a large cup of coffee to stay awake and not to fall asleep watching it.

Regardless, it's an entertaining flic, with a great setting, and great soundtrack - done well.

Tedious Exercise .

It was great to see such a veteran cast of actors provide an entertaining story.

Very enjoyable - Time flew by .

The novel was exciting, interesting, unique and fun to read.

If you like a good ole crime story , great actors and a twist in the tale that's not pathetic, then this is for you, Totally enjoyed it, Norton lightens up an otherwise somber politically corrupt story-line, got few good laughs from me and made the film even more enjoyable, one example is him getting escorted out of a town hall meeting with a few other hecklers when in fact he was simply responding to his anxiety and shouting something like 'pigs in blankets' in line with his tourette's.

Soooo boring.

One of the worst movies I have ever seen .

an engaging crime drama that is worth every minute of your time .

Completely boring, outdated at it's own release date.

Despite everything and a bit of confusion, there is a huge potential in Norton's direction / writing (not to mentiong the impeccable acting) and this movie was the proof.

Heartfelt drama mystery but has boring political scenes .

extremely slow .

Tough guys and clever women combined with secrets, empty clues, and false bunny trails can mesmerize me for hours.

This is the worst movie you will ever see in the nature of movie making

A very entertaining film and please don't be emo like me and cry after the opening scene.

His direction, script, and tone of the movie is so dull and boring.

Fell asleep a few times

These and other logic questions kept popping up in my mind as the film wore on and took me away from engaging more with the story.

But, most of all, it's just straight up BORING!

Wilhelm DaFoe playing his brother is a hammy crank while the rest of the cast looks dull, acts depressed.

Pointless .

Although flawlesly acted and despite a stellar cast, the movie seems somewhat disjointed, disconnected and flat.

Ed Norton proves his chops again as a director putting together a great story keeping you on the edge of your seat all the way through.

It was so boring that I fell asleep half way through watching it in the early evening.

The only remark i have is that the ending is quite dull.

This show starts off really good with some strong acting, the set is set up excellent and the conclusion is well intriguing.

The lighting and cinematography are incredibly flat and boring (a terrible idea in a noir film of all things!

His repetitive touching of people on the shoulder as he faced them ought to have caused women to back away and men to knock his block off.

A tad too slow, but interesting, suspenseful, and really good looking.

The biggest issue of the film is that it's way too long.

A great 150 minute film can fly by and leave you asking how it is already over, whereas a tedious film of similar length can feel like 5 hours with you checking the time every ten minutes hoping more time than that has passed.

This film is definitely a must watch movie for those who appreciate a quirky yet intriguing story-line.

Good acting, confusing story and sketchy directing made this potential good film into a disaster.

Waste of time .

PC nonsense in 50's era, felt like I was watching actors in traning, repetitive.

Motherless Brooklyn has problem with flat uninteresting characters and dialogue as well as a pace that moves incredibly slow you at times feel like your watching a 3 hours movie rather than a 2 hour 20 minute film.

One of just a handful of contemporary movies worth watching.

First of all, any movie with a jazz score is worth the watch...

"Chinatown" sideways and slow .

A very long and tedious experience .

Still, it's got a good cast and an engaging story, so if you're a fan of film noir it's well worth checking out.

Edward Norton starts, directs, and writes in this engaging film noir Mystery with a deep and complicated plot, layered with immense style, a great score, a sensational performance from Norton as a man afflicted with tourettes, who finds himself unveiling the truth in a path of loyalty, greed, power, trust, family, love, racism and deception.

BORING Another actor doing Dustin Hoffman .

Some may critique it as being a slow burn, of a story that we have heard a thousand times already.

On the other hand it was too long and slow....

But it is slow and if you're expecting something like Sin City or even the Untouchables, you might be disappointed.

It seems like some of the acting is good but the movie is so bland.

Motherless Brooklyn is an incredible Neo-noir that's unpredictable, engaging and despite it's period setting, timeless in it's themes.

Slow paced, Long 2 hours 25 min and Average storyline .

The movie is worth watching , and has got an engaging plot .

It's script is pretty generic, one of the twists was predictable and it has serious pacing problems.

Unfortunately, as stylish and beautiful the film is, its most certainly hampered by its long running length and somewhat dull passages.

Edward Norton's passion project is worth watching for anyone who an intelligent audience.

Although I tried and tried, it was really hard to shake the suspicion that Ed Norton was reprising his role of Brian from The Score, a ho-hum heist movie from the early 2000s.

But Norton has done a superior job of creating a fascinating, highly dramatic work about actual history, drama, characters, politics and passion.

Enjoyable story .

The story is somewhat confusing so you had better pay attention.

A few good scenes here and there but it mostly dragged.

Bored to freaking death!

And although this works tremendously on the page, Norton argued (correctly, I think) that to try to replicate this on film - have the story set in 2019 (or even 1999), but told in the manner of a classic noir - wouldn't work, as it would send mixed and confusing messages to the audience.

The performances are excellent, the story is engaging, though it occasionally drifts off into some barely relevant territory.



Which leads me to my second point 2 like so many movies these days, at 144 minutes, this one is simply way too long.

Storywise it's all very confusing.

The set pieces were evocative of the era and of the characters that inhabited those set pieces.

Screenwriter, Director, and Actor Edward Norton failed to make this an engaging crime thriller in the tradition of Roman Polanski's "Chinatown.

For instance, a few early scenes in the Minna Detective Agency office were confusing, and I found myself questioning how the agency made any money, had pleasantly nice offices, and everybody in the office seemed flush, not struggling.

The storyline is boring as hell.

A tight and gripping movie .

I wanted to leave half way through.

I'm a big Edward Norton fan but this movie was a snoozer.

Yet fails ,went to long could of cut 20mins out was boring ,so by the end you really don't care what happens.

The film is definitely worth watching as it shows what Hollywood is about, their actors have great ideas, that Hollywood spends a lot of money on, than they lack in delivery, no fault to these wonderful actors.

The story is authentic looking with a nice noir style to it and everyone does a good acting job but it's a little slow in parts.

Its soooo boring, and it just ends up in some political b.

and worth the watch.

Riveting from beginning to end.

It's slow, it's tiring, it's nothing like the trailers suggested.

Norton was also able to cleverly execute a literary device, to quickly contrast the difficulty and constant un-predictability of being unfortunately plagued by Tourette's Syndrome, to the unpredictable and unexpected struggle and consequence of being an African American in today's society.

The plot is dull and with an over long script.

half the movie he spent talking about it though and the repetitive "if" got tiresome after the 500th time.

Ultimately it was overlong and repetitive it could have been so much better with some editing and some more action.

It also moves at a snail's pace, and Norton is never really able to generate any sense of urgency, making the whole thing feel laborious, and, ultimately, rather pointless.

Sure some may find it boring, slow, presumptuous even.

Lionel's symptoms of Tourette's syndrome, repetitive verbalizations of a rhyming nature, were accepted equanimously by everyone he encountered.

In other words, the movie runs far too long (2 1/2 hrs, maybe 40-45 min.

Entertaining noir throwback .

Randolph has a genius brother, Paul (Willem Dafoe), whom he keeps on a short leash and on the edge of hope.

Its a well shot movie but quite boring and long .

I think this film is very competently made: Norton clearly knows how to direct a scene and get from the actors he's working with what he needs, and he also was able to adapt this story in a relatively compelling way.

Entertaining and Relevant .

I'd rather watch a Roseanne marathon, than 5 more minutes of this snore fest!

Enjoy falling asleep or going to the bathroom or getting popcorn.

So boring .

Cliche .

The investigation within the film is incredibly drawn out and boring.

Slow .

Beyond that the film has a bit of a made-for-television feel to it; cheap, plasticy, with boring camera angles and paint-by-numbers lighting.

Average At Best, And Far Too Long .

Every detail is compelling and natural, so we have the feeling that we are immersed in this world, with its lights and darkness, with racial inequalities and social injustices, with coin phones and with the fog engulfing the bridges connecting Manhattan to the rest of the city, with nightclubs and the ubiquitous smoke of cigarettes.

Great acting but some of the plot lines are predictable.

The story was rather bland and boring, and could have easily been shortened and more clairvoyant.

Good engaging movie .

Yes, as others complained it is a long movie and it has a slow pace.

However if the slow, moody old style detective genre is your thing you will love this.

The cast were steller, it was gripping throughout.

I fell asleep halfway and I'm glad I did, It was not worth my time

I enjoyed it and recommend it .

immersed in the 50s .

Really gripping .

Somewhat engaging .

Worst movie ever .

really boring and slow with a lot of scenes that have absolutely nothing to do with the story.

While I do think it's a tad bit long but it is worth watching for sure.

Too long and boring movie .

Final Say -Working with a low-budget and with nothing but passion (and perhaps a little desire for silverware), Motherless Brooklyn is a sometimes valiant attempt by Norton to bring to life a seemingly un-filmable novel but for most of its excessive run-time, this noir is tame and boring more often than not.

What was problematicThe narrative drive ran out of steam as so much of the labyrinthine plot had similar repetitive scenes, it was unvarying.


The story telling is uninteresting.


But boy, could it use an injection of adrenaline, humor, heightened drama, improved soundtrack and less forced woke messaging.

New York of the 1950's is a fascinating place and if Edward Norton did anything right with MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN it's transporting us to the time and the place.

Not much of a film noir, more of a boring political hit job.

Overall, I enjoyed it, It is probably a great book!!

Stylistically good but predictable .

Bored to freaking death.

If you can withstand the 2hrs 20 or so mins of being completely immersed in this film...

During an intense scene with a bad guy, you don't see him doing that which makes you question the character a bit.

Norton's film seem far too long, his character's malady was honesty distracting and unfortunately most of the characters were remarkably familiar.

This slow moving 1950's gumshoe detective period piece will occasionally have you wondering if you should stick with it.

This movie was so slow and very boring.

This movie is so slow, so boring, with a terrible score and a heavy handed approach, and worst of all, unrealistic in the portrayal of the characters and how they talk and react, more than anything to the protagonist.

Just got really boring.

A period movie, done with stunning production values, solid performances without car chases!

For me one of the most compelling scenes was between Lionel and Trumpet Man (Michael Kenneth Williams).

The story is compelling trying to work out what the death of a private detective has to do with a property magnate.

Way too long.

Motherless Brooklyn takes a while to get going and while its slowly paced, the plot thickens and after I settled in, I was caught up in it.

Yawn fest .

Maybe sometimes a bit too much detail as it dragged a little bit.

His character was very likable and entertaining.

There are so many unnecessary scenes that only dragged the pacing of the film and which didn't contribute to anything.

Overly long led to viewer exhaustion, of the 50 people in my viewing 20 had walked out by the 80 minute marker.

A disappointing bore .

While it can be difficult to follow at times, it's still quite a fantastic movie.

Dull, uninteresting.

It's slow and ponderous and confusing and one-note and too long.

Reading the reviews, I was surprised at so many of those who spoke of it as being long and boring.

Motherless Brooklyn is a boring neo noir crime film which Edward Norton delivers a great performance.